FCW Report

Debbie Gill, FCW President

Debbie Gill, FCW President

Our Florida CattleWomen’s Association was founded in 1961 by a group of great ladies, many whom have gone on before us. These ladies created an organization that has continued to grow stronger throughout the years. I believe the Florida CowBelles and now Florida CattleWomen’s Association has remained one of the most respected and prominent Agriculture organizations in our great state of Florida. The Florida CattleWomen Association proudly honors their mission to foster the well being of the Beef industry through education and promotion. With this said, I am beyond proud and humbled to represent such an organization as the Florida CattleWomen’s 2019 FCW President.

As the time drew closer to the end of the year quarterly in Clewiston, Fl. the anticipation of the installation of officers became surreal, I had thought about and planned throughout the year, “what would the vision of the 2019 FCW year focus on?” Without much thought I knew we as CattleWomen needed to share our story more and show people who we really are. It is important that we take to the consumers our message of not only the value of Beef in their diets, but the families behind the Beef. The CattleWomen that work diligently on the family ranch, from bookkeeping, management, cattle-work, the wife, the owner, and the many aspects of just being part of a cattle family.

New 2019 Executive Committee: Chaplain Lacy McKettrick, Parliamentarian Becky Finley, Secretary Holly Newsome, Treasurer Michele Curts, President-elect Casie Holloway, President Debbie Gill, Past Presidents Rhonda Waters 2018, Michelle Grimmer 2017, and Beth Hunt 2016

Many of our Florida CattleWomen are pillars of their communities, volunteers, and outstanding role models to others. Florida CattleWomen are dedicated to a livelihood that contributes to help provide not only their children’s food, but the food on the plate of the American consumers children. So I decided that focusing our year on the “Florida Women in Ranching” would bring our story to the forefront of educating and promoting Beef while sharing the story of the lifestyle of the working Ranch woman.

Several of the 2019 scheduled ideals will include a FCW Historical Gallery, that will showcase history items from FCW ladies from across the state. The cabinet will also include treasured items from some of our dear FCW that have past on to be with the Lord. Another item that is very special for 2019, is the production of a “Florida Women in Ranching” video that will feature working Florida CattleWomen, and what goes into living and working as a cattle family, with this video we will be able to use for promotion on social media, educational material for the public, and historical purposes.

The FCW also has the honor of hosting here in Florida the ANCW “Women in Ranching Symposium” in the spring of 2019 at the UF facilities. The purpose of the symposium is to provide educational workshops, that will allow women to stay informed about new issues in agriculture, improve confidence in themselves, and gain the tools and information needed to make management decisions while networking with their friends, neighbors, and other CattleWomen about the ranch life. It will be a great learning experience!

Delivery of children’s gifts and Beef Certificates Beef from the FCW to the Hope Children’s Home.

Several other events included Beef for the Holidays, with the delivery of the Hope Children’s Home gifts for 65 children and the presentation of $2,000. in Beef Certificates for the Home to purchase BEEF for the children throughout the year. We are also excited about our annual fundraiser, the FCW skeet shoot will again be held at the beautiful Quail Creek Plantation in Okeechobee, FL. on January 5th, 2019. Please if you would like to join us, the FCW are in need of shooters and sponsors to make this a great fundraiser for scholarships! In the spring of 2019 we will again sponsor the spring savage race in Dade City, providing Beef samples for protein to the athletes participating. We will also be partnering with the Glaziers Children’s Museum in Tampa, Fl. along with other Florida agriculture commodities on the project called the “Farm”. A place where children will learn where their food comes from and then continues on to the grocery store area of a miniature Publix. These are just a few of the items and events set in place for our FCW in the spring of 2019.

As your new FCW President, I have a strong passion for Family, Faith, and the Cattle industry. I am committed to serving along side a wonderful group of ladies whom all have the same passion to promote BEEF. Just to share a little about myself, my husband Anthony and I live in Fort Lonesome, Fl. on the old home place that was homesteaded-in the late 1800’s. Our son Ryan, his wife Kaylie and their four children and our daughter Kaitlyn, her husband Jake and their two children all live and work on the ranch. We have two children that went to be with the Lord, our son Justin (17) was lost in a tragic accident in 2004, and our daughter Brittany (4 months) we lost to a terminal heart condition.

Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to make friendships with fellow CattleWomen throughout the state. I have come to realize how many cattle families have had trials and tribulations as well throughout their lifetimes. Working in and around cattle people has always given me a sense of respect and value of the blessings we are given daily to live this lifestyle. My hopes are to pass on to my grandchildren the same love of our cattle, people and the land. I look forward to the upcoming year, and thank you to our FCW members for giving me this opportunity. I have included a list of spring 2019 FCW events. Please contact me if I can assist in anyway throughout the year.

Debbie Gill

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